Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm
December 5, 2023 — April 7, 2024
Special Exhibition Galleries
Exclusive Member Preview Days: December 5–6
Calling all Chrysler Museum Members! Beat the crowds with first access to this major exhibition on member-only days December 5–6, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.. Not yet a Museum member? Join now to receive early access.
Free, registration not required. Members, please check in at the Welcome Desk and show your valid member card.
Captured by Paul McCartney using his own Pentax Camera, Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm features more than 250 photographs taken between November 1963 and February 1964, illuminating the period in which The Beatles became international superstars. The photographs were rediscovered in McCartney’s personal archive in 2020.
“Looking at these photos now, decades after they were taken, I find there’s a sort of innocence about them,” said Paul McCartney. “Everything was new to us at this point. But I like to think I wouldn’t take them any differently today. They now bring back so many stories, a flood of special memories, which is one of the many reasons I love them all, and know that they will always fire my imagination.”
With these photographs, visitors can witness the dawn of the “British Invasion” that fundamentally transformed Rock and Roll music and American society. The exhibition also captures McCartney’s interest in the visual arts, with his photos reflecting the aesthetic and culture of the moment. McCartney describes this collection as “the eyes of the storm,” chronologically documenting the experiences of the band on their travels beginning in November 1963 at the height of Beatlemania and culminating with photographs taken in February 1964 during the final days of the band’s first triumphant trip to America. Most of these photographs have never been made into prints, existing as negatives and contact sheets for 60 years until now.
“What struck me about these images, beyond their obvious historical value, was McCartney’s sensitivity to his subjects,” said Erik Neil, Macon and Joan Brock Director of the Chrysler Museum of Art. “The empathy that is at the center of his music is equally evident in his photographs.”
Traveling from the National Portrait Gallery in London to Norfolk, the Chrysler Museum of Art will be the first venue in the United States to host this major exhibition, burnishing the Chrysler’s reputation as an institution committed to the presentation of the diverse histories of photography through exhibitions and the permanent collection.
Exhibition curated by Paul McCartney with Sarah Brown on behalf of MPL Communications Limited and Rosie Broadley for the National Portrait Gallery, London, and presented by the Chrysler Museum of Art. This exhibition is supported by the Horace W. Goldsmith Special Exhibitions Endowment.
Read the full press release here.
Pre-order the exhibition catalogue from the Chrysler Museum Shop
1964: Eyes of the Storm, Photographs and Reflections by Paul McCartney includes:
A personal foreword in which McCartney recalls the pandemonium of British concert halls, followed by the hysteria that greeted the band on its first American visit.
Candid recollections preceding each city portfolio that form an autobiographical account of the period McCartney remembers as the “Eyes of the Storm,” plus a coda with subsequent events in 1964.
“Beatleland,” an essay by Harvard historian and New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore, describing how The Beatles became the first truly global mass culture phenomenon.